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Why Giants traded Billy Hamilton for a ‘real prospect’

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants never saw a game from Billy Hamilton but still managed to turn a flier into a prospect.

While Hamilton’s speed has intrigued the Giants and they especially valued his outfield defense, Mike Yastrzemski has been solid in proving he can man center.

Hamilton, who has been building up in Sacramento after reporting late to camp because of a medical issue, was never added to the 40-man roster. The 30-man roster will have to be pared to 28 on Thursday, and the Giants have seen they will need so many spots for a bullpen they will lean on.

They could no longer justify an extra pair of legs, especially when a young arm was out there.

“Our roster evolved, and we recognize the value of having extra bats and extra arms in the pen, and that just made Hamilton a tougher fit, particularly with us going down to a 28-man roster size later this week,” Gabe Kapler said before Sunday’s series finale with the Rangers at Oracle Park. “But he’s done a really nice job in Sacramento for us and we see the value to the Mets in the situation they have right now.”

The situation the Mets have right now is Yoenis Cespedes did not report to work Sunday, the Mets releasing a statement that they do not know where he is. Kapler called Hamilton a “nice addition to most teams out there” because of his rare skill set.

The Mets are going for it this season while the Giants still have an eye on their future. And thus the Mets had designated righty Jordan Humphreys for assignment, needing a roster spot for a veteran and no longer able to hold onto an arm who does not project to reach the majors this year.

Humphreys was a former top prospect who had 2017 surgery and returned for last year’s Arizona Fall League.

“He had a lot of carry through the zone before Tommy John. He still has a lot of carry through the zone,” Kapler said about the 24-year-old, who’s been assigned to the alternate camp. “He’s a strike thrower and a real prospect for the Mets, and we’re excited to have him.”


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